As a mechanical design engineer, many habits must be transformed into subconscious routines, otherwise, it leads to endless pain and rework, and much of that pain is unbearable and unbearable, causing a deep sense of grief.
The subconscious is the behavior that does not require the brain when doing certain things, for example, when we drive and suddenly see a pedestrian crossing the road, we must react and operate subconsciously within a few seconds, any delay would result in an accident.
The following experiences all come from painful lessons and costs, and you can also call them “hard-won wisdom”.
1. You must thoroughly understand the client’s requirements for a project and put them in writing. Any verbal promises are unreliable, only the signed and confirmed text has the final interpretation. Forget the person who promised to support you at the dinner table, they are the most practical forgetful people.
2. It is important for the relevant personnel of the mechanical design team to confirm the method and conditions of cooperation. A major project is never an isolated action, only the team is the most reliable guarantee. All concerns and thoughts should be communicated openly, without avoiding issues or people. Unified thinking is the highest realm of team progress.
3. A solution designer not only needs a comprehensive design ability but also needs good expression skills. These include language expression, drawing expression, PPT presentation, and social expression skills, because the people you face come from all aspects. There may be picky clients and misunderstandings from the team.
4. Every rejected solution should be archived accordingly. Often, you will be led by a foolish and arrogant client to circle back to the original starting point, just because they feel that they have discovered something. This can save you a lot of time.
5. Don’t argue with a layman on a professional issue. Winning won’t make you look good, and losing will be embarrassing. As Guo Degang said, “If you even bother to take a serious look at him, you lose.” There is never a winner in such an argument.
6. Drawing modifications should be classified and archived by project and functional components. Different modification versions should be archived separately.
Design is a process of continuous optimization and modification. What you think is unreasonable today may become particularly attractive tomorrow, so never easily delete modified drawings.
They are not only the crystallization of your wisdom and sweat but also the process and method of your design. Especially for the ignorant requirements of “daddy clients”, we can only passively accept, and it is very difficult to resist strongly, because that would be incompatible with the order and money.
But when we have done our best to satisfy them, they give us a “never forget the original intention”, and still think the first version of the design is the best. If we don’t have the habit of archiving step by step, and version by version, we will definitely be at a loss, or even angry.
7. Even the most perfect drawings will have omissions. You need to learn to sort and review from aspects such as size, geometric tolerance, roughness, and technical requirements. It is even more necessary to invite someone of your level or more competent to help you review.
If there is really no such candidate, then print out the drawings. With the paper version of the drawings, you can easily see your own mistakes and omissions. This method is very effective, and I have never been disappointed with it.
8. Save while drawing, save while drawing, save while drawing; the important thing is said three times. I once had the urge to “cut off my hand” because of this issue, now this habit has deeply entered my subconscious, and my saving speed is even faster than my drawing speed.
9. Allow yourself to make mistakes. We are all ordinary mortals, not gods. Even if you are slightly more experienced in this industry, making mistakes is still a very likely event. But don’t make the same mistake, it hurts self-esteem and makes one question life.
10. After the design is completed, take the initiative to follow up with processing, assembly, debugging, and even after-sales, because this is where you have room for improvement. You have to learn to clean up your own mess, otherwise, you will never know where your shortcomings are, and others will not tell you.
11. Learn to balance design principles and manufacturing costs. There is a big difference between product design and commodity sales. Products may not necessarily become commodities because costs are at play. If the relationship between design and cost cannot be balanced, then it’s basically a difficult situation. The real value of the design is whether someone is willing to pay for you.
12. Be loyal to your profession and professional skills. Within the bounds of professionalism, there is no so-called compromise or settling. Because this is science, what works and what doesn’t is determined by data. Because one lie requires countless lies to prove, the final outcome is moral bankruptcy.
13. As a mechanical engineer, the title is very important. Although those with high titles may not necessarily have the ability, those with low titles may not necessarily lack the ability, but those with titles can have more choices and freedom, because that is an official certification.
14. Do not give up your manual drawing ability, at least do not give up your manual sketching ability, because there is a high probability that you will need it. This is also a necessary ability for a mechanical design engineer.
15. Learn to share your professional skills. You may really have mastered a certain truth, but that is only one. If you are willing to exchange with others, you can master many truths, which can cultivate a stronger you.
16. Young people need your guidance, but they don’t need you to be overcritical. Restraint is not only a kind of cultivation but also a skill.
17. As a mechanical design engineer, in addition to the ability to handle mechanical mechanisms, you also need to know the process flow of mechanical processing, the mechanical properties of materials, the process flow of assembly, the content and steps of debugging, and also need to know the channels and resources for procurement. Do not limit yourself to a single point of knowledge to avoid becoming a “screw”.
18. Learn to plan your own design progress, try to exceed the team’s expectations, because your current work is not just about making a living, but also about building your own personal brand. Your future comes from your current personal brand building.
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